Apple’s new speaker making an unwelcome mark in some homes

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s new internet-connected speaker is proving to be more appealing to the ears than to the eyes, depending on where the device is placed.

Some people who bought the just-released $349 speaker, dubbed the HomePod, are reporting that it leaves a white ring on the surfaces of wooden furniture.

In an explanation posted Wednesday, Apple said the problem occurs with speakers that, like the HomePod, are equipped with a silicon base to minimize vibration. The company said the marks will often “go away” after a few days if you move the speaker somewhere else.

If they don’t, it recommends wiping wood tarnished by the HomePod with a soft or damp cloth, or cleaning the surface “with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process.”

The marks left by the HomePod threaten to stain Apple’s reputation for designing iPhones, iPads and Mac computers that are frequently prized as much for how they look as for how they work. Though it’s still too early to tell whether the HomePod’s blemishes on wood will dampen the device’s sales. If so, that could hamper Apple’s efforts to catch up to less expensive internet-connected speakers from Amazon and Google that had a head start in the still nascent market.

Both Amazon and Google designed their speakers primarily to serve as digital hubs that manage peoples’ homes and lives via voice-activated assistants. Apple, by contrast, is marketing the HomePod as a high-fidelity speaker programmed to learn listeners’ tastes and automatically select songs from the company’s music-streaming library.

In the process, Apple hopes to build upon its 36 million Apple Music subscribers and to establish a toehold in people’s homes that will give it more opportunities to peddle its services. The HomePod also features Apple’s assistant Siri, which is still catching up to Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s eponymous Assistant in responsiveness and versatility.

Just Posted

Red Deer garage owner finds kitten trapped under truck

Jeff Roberts, owner of Wrenchmasters AutoPro in Red Deer, brought the kitten to the SPCA

This is spring?

Central Albertans have been getting a taste of summer four weeks early

Red Deer arm wrestler steps onto big stage

World Armwrestling League’s deal with streaming service gives Matt Mask a chance to shine

Spring flooding not necessarily a sign that worse to come

Rain is the main culprit when June mountain snowmelt turns into flooding

WATCH: Red Deer walks to reduce stigma associated with schizophrenia

First annual Strides for Hope walk takes place across Alberta

Central Alberta athletes shine on the track at CASAA Zone Track and Field Championships

Lindsay Thurber Raiders athlete Hayley Lalor took the win in the senior girls individual aggregate

Businesses, project recieve award for efforts to improve Central Alberta air quality

Three organizations will be recognized for the work they have done to… Continue reading

Trudeau defends $600-million price tag for G7 summit in Quebec town of La Malbaie

LA MALBAIE, Que. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending the hefty… Continue reading

Weather now co-operating with evacuation of fire-threatened communities

WINNIPEG — The weather is now co-operating with efforts to evacuate some… Continue reading

Canadian auto sector observers doubt U.S. will carry through on tariff threat

Canadian auto industry observers are reacting with shock and disbelief to news… Continue reading

Bus bursts into flames on parkway; driver, passengers safe

HOLMDEL, N.J. — Authorities say a bus driver and about two dozen… Continue reading

Facebook won’t pay compensation for Cambridge Analytica case

BRUSSELS — Facebook said Thursday it will not compensate users in the… Continue reading

Five standout tracks from Shawn Mendes’ vulnerable new self-titled album

TORONTO — Shawn Mendes is slowly letting the world capture a glimpse… Continue reading

Canadians confused about GM foods, support mandatory labelling: study

HALIFAX — The vast majority of Canadians believe genetically modified foods should… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month